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Did the U of G honour a war criminal?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

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Written by Scott Gilbert

Editor's Note: The below opinion piece is the second iteration of the Hillier editorial. The initial version was posted to thecannon.ca by myself in haste, and the wording of it caught the eye of several larger media organizations and off-campus blogs. The Cannon Operating Committee decided to review the content of the article over the past week and we collectively agreed on specific wording changes that have since been addressed in the current version which you find below. I would like to clarify that this is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of the CSA or GCC, and declare that in hindsight I regret the choice of select wording in the original version. This version is somewhat longer than the first to accommodate explanations of the edits.

On Jan 13 2009 the University of Guelph honoured retired general Rick Hillier with the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award. In this opinion piece I will outline my criticisms of the university's decision to select Hillier from the list of candidates.

As the title implies, the question of his involvement in war crimes is up for debate. In a strictly technical sense, I admit he has not been convicted in a court of law of any war crime, to date. That being said, one can muse about the possibility of such a conviction and detail the evidence in support of the accusations.

Much of the evidence I will present here comes from a letter sent to Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, written by Michael Byers, a Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia and National University of Ireland professor William A. Schabas. Both academics are respected international legal experts.

In their letter dated April 25 2007 they state:

Article 25(3) of the Rome Statute indicates that individual persons, including Canadian soldiers, could be criminally responsible if they transferred a detainee into a situation where they knew he or she would be at risk of torture, cruel treatment or outrages upon personal dignity, and such violence or outrages occurred. Article 25(3) reads:

3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person ...

(c) For the purposes of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission; (d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either: (i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission or a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or (ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime.

At this point we have a definition of what would be classified as a war crime by the International Criminal Court. The authors of this letter rightly point out that "transferring a detainee contributes to -- indeed, it provides the means for -- the commission of torture, cruel treatment or outrages upon his or her personal dignity."

So the question becomes three-fold: Were detainees transferred from Canadian custody into a situation where they would be at risk of torture or cruel treatment? Did this happen under the direction of Hillier, in the face of credible evidence that they were in fact being tortured? And lastly, were appropriate steps taken by Hillier to remedy the potential problem in a timely fashion? An examination of these questions follows.

The Globe and Mail ran a series of investigative reports in 2007 where they "uncovered a litany of gruesome stories and a clear pattern of abuse by the Afghan authorities who work closely with Canadian troops, despite Canada's assurances that the rights of detainees are protected." The Globe conducted 30 face-to-face interviews, where prisoners "say they were beaten, whipped, starved, frozen, choked and subjected to electric shocks during interrogation." (April 23, 2007)

Two days later, the paper ran a front-page article exposing efforts by the Harper government to conceal reports of torture from their own officials. "The Harper government knew from its own officials that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of torture, abuse and extrajudicial killing, The Globe and Mail has learned." (April 25, 2007)

And with all of this flying on the front page of the Globe for several consecutive days, Hillier still did not call for a halt of prisoner transfers. This is the central thesis of the challenge by Byers and Schabas to the International Criminal Court (ICC). They say, "Our principal concern arises with respect to the political and military decision-makers who have chosen not to cease the practice of transferring detainees, and who for more than a year refused to renegotiate the Canada Afghanistan Detainee Transfer Arrangement to secure rights of notification, visit and verification for Canadian authorities. In short, the policies decisions taken by Mr. O'Conner and General Hillier have caused detainees to be transferred into a situation of significant, known risk." (emphasis added)

While the final call on the question of criminality ultimately lies in the hands of the courts, the lay reader can connect enough dots to call into question the appropriateness of this award going to Hillier.

Despite war crimes being among the most heinous of all, the university felt the massive body of evidence being considered right now by the ICC was irrelevant to their decision. Chris McKenna, dean of the university's College of Management and Economics, told the Ontarion that the issue of war crimes allegations "would not have been a factor in the selection [of Hillier]" and that it "wasn't an issue either way". It is this sentiment that prompted me in my initial article to ask rhetorically if Paul Bernardo might be considered a potential candidate for honour by the university. This was admittedly a rather facetious way to broach the issue, however the underlying premise remains valid – that the track record of an individual being considered for a prestigious award is apparently irrelevant in the eyes of this institution.

Beyond the shortcomings of my initial, hastily assembled opinion piece, the university community really should debate the appropriateness of this award in light of the mountain of documentation that reflects poorly on Hillier's professional life.

The press release I received when the award was announced said "Hillier is being honoured for his exceptional abilities as a communicator with . . . the public and the media . . ."

A quick review of public and media commentary on Hillier is appropriate at this time. From the media, we have a direct call for his resignation from Toronto Star columnist Rosie Dimanno. The Ottawa Citizen filed a complaint with Canada's information commissioner over the withholding of information they had a legal right to obtain. The Globe and Mail ran a series of exposes that focussed on the allegations of torture under Hillier's watch. The Globe also commented on what they called a "remarkable" example of "the incarceration of information, as opposed to the freedom of it" by Hillier where the Globe said, in no uncertain terms, "[Hillier] halted the release of documents related to detainees captured in Afghanistan. The detainee story caused the government and Gen. Hillier's department many embarrassing moments in the spring. So, basically, they decided, as per the detainee file, to ignore access-to-information laws. They are invoking that old standby, 'reasons of national security,' to get around them. The generals, it seems, are becoming increasingly aggravated by the democratic process and the freedoms therein."

These references illustrate anything but effective communication with the media and public – the stated basis of Hillier's award. The university appears to interpret "ignoring access-to-information laws" and "[aggravation] by the democratic process" to be worthy of honour. It is this total contradiction between the documented view of leading media outlets and what the university is praising him for that is so ludicrous. Issues of potential war crimes aside, how could highly educated executives at an academic institution fail to see these anomalies? It certainly calls into question the vetting process used to select this individual and the motives of the committee members tasked with finding a suitable candidate.

Two other points not fully explored in my initial response are the other aspects of this award, which, not surprisingly, don't align with the image our institution purports to uphold – that of the "moral and social conscience of our society".

Hillier was honoured in part for "improving the image and sustainability of the Forces both domestically and internationally . . .". For this, I refer readers to Hillier's comments about the role of Canada's Armed Forces in Afghanistan. He said, "These are detestable murderers and scumbags . . . they detest our freedoms, they detest our society, they detest our liberties" and "We are the Canadian Forces, and our job is to be able to kill people.” How can such hawkish language be considered an improvement to our image abroad? And as for the notion of the role of our forces being that of killing people as opposed to humanitarian efforts, even major general Andrew Leslie said "every time you kill an angry young man overseas, you're creating 15 more who will come after you." This sounds like nothing less than a failed strategy sure to burden our nation for decades to come.

Additionally questionable is the award being given for "his efforts to lobby the federal government for increased military funding." Is more funding for the military really what our country needs right now? We face no direct threat from Afghanistan or any other country. If anything, we face a very real threat to the prosperity of our nation from our faltering economy. There are only so many tax dollars to dish out and our own academic institution has hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and has been forced to impose a hiring freeze. Should we not be honouring someone who advocates a redirection of public monies away from unnecessary military spending and towards social programs that might actually benefit the average Canadian? We praise calls for more military spending at the same time that our university and its students are being crushed by a lack of financial support from our government.

This is not a left versus right issue. This is an issue of human rights, international law and the credibility of our university. People from all walks of life and all political ideologies should be able to recognize when an award is handed out based on false pretenses. Even my critics from the Campus Conservatives should heed the warnings of legal experts like Byers and Schabas even if they disagree with me personally. These credible allegations - supported by a growing body of evidence - implicates Hillier in what could amount to crimes against humanity. If the International Criminal Court or a future government of Canada were to take the steps necessary to bring this man to trial, a conviction would tarnish the name of the Canadian Forces for decades. The wheels are in motion and only time will tell.

Note from The Cannon Operating Committee: The cannon operating committee chose to remove the original Rick Hillier editorial posted on the Cannon Jan 9th in order to review the content. We believe the Cannon should not shy away from controversial issues, and therefore the article has returned in this revised form. We would like to remind readers that thecannon.ca does not take any editorial positions. The opinions posted on the Cannon reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.

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  1. Posted by: Chris on Jan 20, 2009 @ 9:25pm

    Ahenm;

    The torture allegations were never proven. The General, quite rightly, ignored media attempts to yank a story out of thin air and instead voiced his views that he 'didn't give a damn' about the ALLEGATIONS.

    You and the CSA are pathetic.

  2. Posted by: MILNEWS.ca on Jan 20, 2009 @ 9:54pm

    "One can muse about the possibility of such a conviction and detail the evidence in support of the accusations" - is this how it's done when there's no firm evidence or conviction recorded? Has the ICC laid any charges, for that matter, following the letter almost two years ago? I'm sure "the collective" will be happy to devote just as much space when nothing comes of this via the ICC...

  3. Posted by: Chris on Jan 20, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    Oh ya, here's what UBC students think of Byers...

    http://www.ubyssey.ca/?p=6695

    Yep, what popular reputable guy he is....

  4. Posted by: Jai Muise on Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Scott:

    SHUT UP. We understand you hate the Canadian Forces - you (successfully) attempted to bring this viewpoint on us a couple of years ago when you were (if I recall correctly) External Affairs Commissioner. We understand you don't want them to have anything to do with the University. Unfortunately, this is not your choice to make, and your 'opinions' are evidently flawed, as the other posters have stated.

    As the dependent of a Canadian Forces member, I find your continual, untruthful hyperbole concerning them nothing short of propagandic, and, furthermore, you presenting yourself to national media as a 'student' (are you even one? I thought you graduated a few years ago) representing all of us is not only laughable, but completely despicable. Let's not even mention how I feel you are making a judgement call on my family and the thousands of other people who do this country a good service.

    Let students form their *own* opinions concerning Hillier and the operation in Afghanistan, and leave your old-school propaganda out of it. We don't need your help to see the 'truth'.

    You do not represent me. Please stop acting as though you do.

    And while you're at it, just shut up.

  5. Posted by: this could be a game changer on Jan 21, 2009 @ 11:21am

    Hear ye, hear ye: the rules of debate are henceforth changed:

    1. No one may question the behaviour, choices, occupation, or honesty of any person who has a family member who cares about them.

    2. This applies equally to organizations that said person may be a part of, regardless of what they have been up to.

  6. Posted by: Jared on Jan 21, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Many people are saying that this is propaganda. So what? Do you even know the definition of propaganda, do you realize that your passionate denouncing of this propaganda is itself propaganda?
    People of a conservative mindset often claim that their media are rational objective neutral quality journalism, while opposing views are emotional subjective biased rabble-rousing propaganda. Both sides are ideological, and both sides use propaganda.

    Many people are angy at Scott, because they think he has sullied U of G's reputation, and misrepresented the school and its students. But an opinion piece on a website reflects the views of its author. People who say that the Cannon and the CSA are biased propagandists are being stupid, because Scott is not representing them, and doesn't claim to. Scott's job is to write his opinion, not write an opinion that is representative of the student body. Editorials on thecannon.ca don't claim to represent the CSA, the cannnon, or the student body.

  7. Posted by: Jared on Jan 21, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Scott's Rick Hillier editorial and the controversy around it is the best thing to happen to thecannon.ca in a long time. Before this episode, nobody read the cannon, very little content was on the cannon to read, few comments were made. Probably the reason that this communist has been able to fill this position at thecannon.ca is that nobody cared about it enough to compete with him for the job.

    Scott Gilpin should be congratulated by his fellow thecannon.ca staff for increasing traffic and comments on the site, and provoking debate and discussion around an issue that otherwise would have flown under the radar. Hopefully next issue he will take the time to publish a well-reasoned argument the first time, instead of leaving himself so vulnerable to attack with rushed inflammatory rhetoric of questionable legality.

  8. Posted by: itshardtopost on Jan 21, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Jared:

    "Many people are angy at Scott, because they think he has sullied U of G's reputation, and misrepresented the school and its students. But an opinion piece on a website reflects the views of its author. People who say that the Cannon and the CSA are biased propagandists are being stupid, because Scott is not representing them, and doesn't claim to."

    Except he's the editor of this website, and thus, is a paid employee of the CSA. Therefore, I think it's very fair to say that this represents both thecannon.ca and the CSA.

  9. Posted by: George on Jan 21, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    In case your missed the original article, the power of the web brings anything back to life:

    http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,82859.0.html

    I find it quite unsettling that the two editors of the Cannon, Scott Gilbert and Andrew Garvie, are both past candidates of the Communist Party in Guelph. WOW! I always wondered where communists went to find jobs, I guess we know now, they are employed by Guelph’s student union news website.

  10. Posted by: Jai Muise on Jan 21, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Scott *is* representing us, and is basically trying to shoot down anything positive about Hillier. I'm not going to deny that I don't have a personal stake in this debate. But to sit there and call soldiers war criminals? I wonder how many soldiers Scott Gilbert actually knows? I wonder how many of their stories he's listened to objectively?

    Normally, I wouldn't care, but seeing as how he's been on CTV, apparently "representing" us, I want him gone.

    I pay my dues to the CSA; I believe I have a right to say as such.

  11. Posted by: Chris on Jan 21, 2009 @ 4:46pm

    The honorable thing to do would be for the CSA to refund the fees they have been paid by any student offended by Scott's idiotic online antics.

    I don't want to be part of the CSA and they have never even come close to representing my views or what I feel is important, therefore, it stands to reason that I shouldn't have to pay them to finanace their own (expensive) pet causes like free trade coffee, trying to ban Coca Cola, their little war against Canadian Forces, their demands for free money for students to have the 'right' to go to university etc etc etc.

    But they wont. Why you ask? Because Communists like Scott and his CSA cronies are quite happy to take, take and take but are never prepared to give back. You've swindled me and thousands of other students out of money to finance your little attempts at social revolution...I want my money back.

  12. Posted by: M on Jan 21, 2009 @ 8:28pm

    If you disagree with this opinion piece and want your own viewpoint to be voiced, or just want to share your propaganda, submit to the cannon. Help the Cannon represent you by contributing. Under the "viewpoints" tab above, click on "submissions".

    The CSA does a lot more than "finanace their own (expensive) pet causes like free trade coffee, trying to ban Coca Cola, their little war against Canadian Forces, their demands for free money for students to have the 'right' to go to university etc etc etc". However, if you don't think they should be spending your money on such causes...tell them that. Tell your CSA Executives or Board of Director representatives that. Better yet, get involved in the CSA. The reason such initiatives are taken is because the people who contribute their time are the ones who support such projects. There are a lot of students who help the CSA run, join them.

    The honorable thing to do is contribute, not just complain.

  13. Posted by: Chris on Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:30pm

    No, the honourable (spell it correctly) thing to do is represent student interests properly when you use their funds...and allow students who don't want to be a part of said union to opt out and get their money back. I asked and was firmly rebuffed.

    I don't want to get invovled with the CSA because I like to save my efforts for worthwhile things that actually matter.

    I write enough essays and assignments, I'll submit an article to the cannon when I have time. However, I don't really need to. See the link I posted above that shows just how 'reputable' and 'unbiased' Scott's sources are. That and the fact that the allegations made by terrorists desperate to avoid punishment for their crimes have been proven to be unfounded should be enough to show that this article is complete crap.

  14. Posted by: Chris on Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:31pm

    P.S. the CSA does NOT listen to students (well, they listen to the ones who say what they want to hear). Like when we were faced with a TA strike last semester and the CSA refused to condemn CUPE and demand that they stop threatening student's education. In fact, people associated with the CSA stated that they supported CUPE's position. Yep, that's supporting students for sure.

    We're getting off topic here, and I doubt you see my point (apologists rarely can).

  15. Posted by: fail on Jan 21, 2009 @ 9:36pm

    The problem, Chris, is that you're an idiot.

    The CSA has its elections. People with stupid views like yours either don't run or don't get elected. Ever. That's why you're not "represented".

    The Christian Heritage Party runs every election and gets its 0.06% of the vote. Difference between them and people like Chris is they don't flip out and frantically spam message boards for the next four years about how the government doesn't listen to all their whining.

  16. Posted by: itshardtopost on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:03pm

    fail:

    The reason people with moderate views don't get elected is that no one cares about the CSA. Look at voter turnout for these elections, they BARELY make quorum. Just because x and y individual get elected, does NOT mean they represent the student population.

    It's unfortunate that the turnout isn't higher, but don't delude yourself into thinking that the CSA's views is actually representative of the student population. It's only representative of the part of the student population that cares what the CSA does.

  17. Posted by: fail on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:23pm

    Quorum at the CSA is one of, if not the highest, quorums at a student union in Canada. Many have 5%, and some don't have a quorum at all.

    Elections are democratic. You don't get to win if you don't play, and the results are decided by the rules and who showed up at the game. Just because people who in your subjective opinion aren't "moderate" don't give a shit about the process don't vote doesn't mean that the victors are somehow illegitimate.

    All of which is beside the point. The government doesn't refund taxes back to anyone, regardless of whether their beef is abortion, highways, the seal hunt, or building guided missiles.

    Cranks like Chris who want their money back because the CSA doesn't listen to his carping aren't somehow being democratically screwed - They're. Just. Cranks.

  18. Posted by: Chris on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:31pm

    Wait, last time I checked the CSA had plenty trouble making quorum. Last time they had to bribe people to come with free pizza (great use of our money that was).

    Call me a crank if you want, I'm still right. Why should I pay into a union I have no wish to be a part of, and that doesn't represent my views? I think it's a fair question.

    The CSA isn't a government, as much as they want to be. They're just another union full of socialist rhetoric and dedicated to chasing petty causes. In other words, not something I want to be a part of or pay into. You want to be swindled kiddo, be my guest.

  19. Posted by: itshardtopost on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:32pm

    Quorum, if I remember correctly, is 10% and the CSA barely makes it. That's still not a lot of students.

    and, I'm not saying that the victors are illegitimate, just that they don't represent the opinions of the entire student body. Like I said, it's unfortunate that the other 90 or so percent of students don't vote. If they did, I suspect the results would be very different.

  20. Posted by: Wow. on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:46pm

    Chris, you are talking about the CSA's Annual General Meeting. The CSA has never bribed students to vote in a General Election with pizza, though that would be hilarious. Check your facts.

  21. Posted by: Wow. on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:49pm

    Also, Chris and Itshardtopost, I suspect you secretly LOVE the CSA because you get to bitch about them all the time on the website they help run. Where would you be with out this reason to get up in the morning?

    Think about it.

  22. Posted by: itshardtopost on Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:52pm

    Enjoying the extra $500 or so that I would've saved on tuition over the past 4 years?

  23. Posted by: Chris on Jan 22, 2009 @ 12:29am

    Funny, I remember getting an email offering free pizza to anyone who would show up to the CSA's AGM last time they held one. Maybe you should check your facts.

    And I don't love them at all. And wait, I thought this wasn't their website and Scott Gilbert wasn't their little pet. Oopsie, you let that cat outta the bag. I just like calling them out on their little socialist escapes and pathetic attempts and legitimacy. It amuses me. That, and my awesome new TV that I purchased by working instead of whining about how my education should be free (my oh my is this ever getting off topic) get me out of bed in the morning.

  24. Posted by: Chris on Jan 22, 2009 @ 12:29am

    It's ok, you can support them all you want. If you like getting led around by your nuts (or ovaries, or both, or whatever it is) and paying people who don't give a damn about students beyond what gets them attention, be my guest.

  25. Posted by: Libertarian_1 on Jan 22, 2009 @ 2:33am

    recipe for the csa and scott gilbert's success...

    1. make man feel small. make him feel guilty. kill his aspiration and integrity. preach selflessness. tell man that he must live for others. tell men that altruism is the ideal. not a single one has ever achieved it and not a single one ever will. since the supreme ideal is beyond his grasp, he gives up eventually all ideals, all aspiration, all sense of his personal value. he feels himself obliged to preach what he cannot practice. why preserve that which one knows to be corrupt already? his soul gives up its self-respect. you've got him. he'll obey. he'll be glad to obey because he can't trust himself, he feels uncertain, he feels unclean.

  26. Posted by: Libertarian_2 on Jan 22, 2009 @ 2:48am

    it stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting sacrificial offerings. where there's service, there's someone being served. the man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. and intends to be the master.

    but if ever hear a man telling you that you must be happy, that it's your natural right, that your first duty is to yourself that will be a man who's not after you soul. that will be the man who has nothing to gain from you. but let him come and you'll scream your empty heads off, howling that he's a selfish monster. so the racket is safe for many centuries.

  27. Posted by: Curtis on Jan 22, 2009 @ 2:49am

    You are pathetic Scott. Not only do you have REAL journalists calling you out, you have the AUDACITY to misrepresent the undergraduate student population at this school and legal documents from one of the most well researched and thought out judicial organization in the history of mankind.

    Please resign. Admit that you are so out of touch with what the undergraduate population wants and go away peacefully. If not, you will be brought down by people WHO ACTUALLY THINK BEFORE THEY WRITE and have the ability to look at an issue from an objective viewpoint. What's the point of you going to university if you don't learn something...anything at all? Oh yes, and I'm talking about your crappy run as CSA external commissioner and your failed attempt to gain political recognition as the head of the Communist Party.

    Ya, great representation!

  28. Posted by: Libertarian_3 on Jan 22, 2009 @ 3:10am

    ayn rand,
    the fountainhead

    chris, i recommend reading 'the fountainhead' if you haven't already. it helped me understand the way the world is, unfortunately, run.

  29. Posted by: callum on Jan 22, 2009 @ 10:11am

    chris,
    I am deeply sorry for you. You live in a very sheltered world where small grievances like buying pizza seem to anger you to no end. The fact is that when you decided to go to school here you were deciding to be part of the CSA, and although you may disagree with the decisions they make that doesn't justify you going back on that decision. There are plenty of people that don't like the way the government spends your tax dollars however few expect that for that reason they should pay no tax. You have a choice whether or not to be a citizen, just like you have a choice whether or not to be a student here, and if you don't want to pay dues to the CSA then there is a simple solution. LEAVE! If you really hate everything they do so much and don't want to take any part in it to change it for the better then leave, or shut up, because the rest of us are sick of listening to your right wing criticism that doesn't contain a single better idea of what to do. Plus you sound like a bit of a arrogant ass. You might want to work on that because people might listen to you more when you don't yell at them like they are idiots.

  30. Posted by: Curtis on Jan 22, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    What? How can you people defend Scott? He has a history of shooting his mouth off without consideration for the needs of the students at this school. How can he even be considered to act as a representative of this student body? You people have your heads so far in the clouds thinking that his conduct at all was in good taste or followed any sort of journalistic ethics. He had PROFESSIONAL journailsts displaying their contempt for him, he has a large percentage of the University of Gueplh population pissed off at him (check facebook groups and simply google the title of this article and you will see just how much "support" Scott has ...you know...evidence of popular opinion, that sort of thing). Wow, no wonder people don't respect this website or the CSA. I smell an election run in March...

  31. Posted by: fail on Jan 22, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    Chris, you don't know the difference between an election and an AGM.

    You're pretty critical of other people for someone who's so ignorant.

  32. Posted by: Jared on Jan 22, 2009 @ 5:56pm

    Scott's communist opinions aren't representing the students or the university. At the top you will see, "I would like to clarify that this is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of the CSA or GCC."

    While conservative voices are claiming that the anti-Hillier rhetoric comes from a fringe minority of wingnuts, the fact is that these conservative voices are an even smaller minority of wingnuts, that don't even have the motivated numbers to represent themselves in student institutions.

    The reason that the CSA and the Cannon are mostly run by people with left-wing views is that they are the only people who give a shit.

    Scott's piece didn't represent the students, didn't claim to, didn't try to. At least he doesn't kill people for money.

  33. Posted by: Chris on Jan 22, 2009 @ 11:52pm

    The reason that the CSA is run by left wing wackjobs is because they're the only people who don't feel the need the go out and work a productive job to pay for their education, instead they'd rather fight to have those of us that do work pay more through taxes to pay for them to sit around and fellate the altar of socialism.

    And callum, I didn't agree to be part of some bullshit union when I came here. I came to get a degree.

  34. Posted by: fail again on Jan 23, 2009 @ 12:06am

    "I came to get a degree."

    Clearly not an english degree. Tell me, how might one fellate an altar? Your mixed metaphors are as embarrassing as your command of the facts.

    How was that election pizza, anyhow?

  35. Posted by: Chris on Jan 23, 2009 @ 12:43am

    You're quite correct, I'm not taking an English degree (quick point, normally, we capitalize the name's of languages i.e. French, English, German etc).

    I like my metaphors, thanks you very much. 'Fellate' is always a great word to use when referring to socialists.

    And I wouldn't know about the pizza, see, I didn't go. I probably had to work (quite the concept for your kind...working). I'll drag my butt out for real elections, but as far as the CSA is concerned I refuse to vote in their 'elections' because by doing so I would be acknowledging their lofty dreams of legitimacy.

    This is ever so fun.

  36. Posted by: Moana on Jan 23, 2009 @ 4:09am

    There are students and employees at the University of Guelph who are members of the Candian Forces or who have family in the Canadian Forces. They have as much right to be here as anyone else. Over the years (and it's getting worse)various student unions have done everything they can to make them feel ashamed of who they are and what they do. If some of those people have posted here and are angry, it's justifiable. The CSA would do well to remember, whether you personally agree with it or not--that you represent student CF members, too.

  37. Posted by: George on Jan 23, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    I tried to submit an opinion piece titled “Did theCannon hire a communist?” but it was never picked up. In this piece I automatically accused Scott Gilbert of being a communist without any reservation, after all I don’t like communism so I now have to completely degrade Scott Gilbert and everything he stands for to the point of slander. After the initial accusation I attempted to support that very accusation by scanning the internet for anyone that somehow shared my view. I then paraphrased and quoted without hesitation as to the creditability of those sources. I concluded this piece by claiming a similarity between Adolf Hitler and Scott Gilbert exists, even though this is completely unfounded and not relevant to my opinion piece, I felt it was a great last “jab” to throw in!

    Scott Gilbert felt this was journalism when he wrote his piece, why can’t mine be??

  38. Posted by: Kursk on Jan 23, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    Worker drone Gilbert sure has a lot of time on his hands.Shouldn't he be on a street corner somewhere espousing the benefits of Marxism to homeless people and drunks?

    Indeed, one can speculate if there is a level below basement when it comes to the popularity of the junior commies with the Canadian voting public.

    I know i and many others will be waiting with bated breath for the day when comrade Gilbert does an expose on one of the many proven murderers that his kind holds dear.Stalin and Pol Pot need all the help they can get.

    Perhaps if we close our eyes and wish really hard, he will be disappeared like so many in the paintings of the old Soviet union.

  39. Posted by: Wasteofmytime on Jan 23, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    Hey posters,
    I just spent ten minutes of my time reading the above posts and want that chunk of my life back. How about we keep the discussion related to the actual article? Like maybe you Hillier fans can refute Scott's actual claims instead of comparing him to Hitler (uh oh, i feel a libel suit coming on). Here's some useful debate questions to lead the discussion. Why would the university honor such a controversial person and through this action make a political statement?
    Why did Hillier not take action when the detainee scandal became public and did he know before hand?
    Does questioning the award and the reputation of Hillier disrespect students that are part of the armed forces? How?
    If you want to discredit the article why don't you argue with the ACTUAL CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE!

  40. Posted by: James on Jan 23, 2009 @ 11:18pm

    WOFMT,

    People are discrediting it--academics and independent military think tanks are laughing at it. One would need more that 1250 characters to make a refutation here.

  41. Posted by: John L on Jan 24, 2009 @ 10:04am

    No doubt Hillier lays awake at night worrying about being the target of Scott's wit and wisdom.

    Scott, in future try and avoid "hastily-assembled" op-ed pieces, "quick reviews" of "evidence" and so forth. You're a paid employed of thecannon.ca and the Unigoo community has every right to expect a level of professionalism appropriate for a university.

    On the Hillier thing consider the old saying that when you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is to stop digging.

  42. Posted by: "usefulidiot" on Jan 24, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    George,

    Brilliant, that just points up the fallacy of thecannon.ca representing democratic values and belies their communist agenda. You proved a point: you followed Scott's template-pseudo-journalistic example and were stifled by becoming a dissenting voice.That is why they refused to publish your opinion. That is what communist regimes do. They may call upon democratic values when it suits them--they will also usurp the right to free expression in others WRT the voice of dissent. Bravo to you George!

  43. Posted by: Jared on Jan 24, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    The military and its fans love Rick Hillier because he has publicly championed the cause of the war in Afghanistan. But this is not the kind of leadership that should be awarded.

    This man calls his opponents "detestable murderers and scumbags" to dehumanize them, in order not to go crazy with the guilt of killing human beings. Now on the one hand, there may be some degree of truth in this statement. On the other, the USA and Canada keep saying that they are killing and building for the love of peace and freedom and the Afghan people. This top general revealed the killer mentality of a force that is supposed to be occupying Afghanistan as a policing presence promoting stability and development.

  44. Posted by: Jared on Jan 24, 2009 @ 3:44pm

    Militarists gleefully point out that the people of Afghanistan don't have rights from the constitutions of the US or Canada, and don't count as regular forces with Geneva convention protocols, and therefore what we are doing there is perfectly legal. Whether or not it is, these conservatives don't seem to have any moral standard higher than laws, little concept of doing good to make the world a better place.

    In Canada, we don't expect the police to kill people that they label as "scumbags" without due process. In Canada, we don't expect the police to hand suspects over to other authorities ignoring allegations of torture. The fact is that the Canadian military isn't a police presence but an armed occupation in Afghanistan, that kills its enemies and takes their territory.

  45. Posted by: Jared on Jan 24, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    The Canadian military in Afghanistan is not on a humanitarian peace mission, but a mission of informal imperial colonialist war. Rick Hillier has been doing a good job at keeping morale high, which is in danger of flagging among those who kill and die for geopolitical reasons. Rick Hillier has been doing a good job at encouraging higher military spending, which is competing with healthcare and education and tax cuts. But wouldn’t it be better if we had lower tuitions and shorter hospital waits, or less taxes, then if we exploded our tax dollars killing foreigners?

  46. Posted by: Jared on Jan 24, 2009 @ 3:52pm

    Rick Hillier has been doing a good job at doing a bad thing. If he respected the CF more, he wouldn’t advocate for them to waste their lives and psychological health on a lost cause for false pretenses. Their lives are wasted in Afghanistan because NATO forces won't stay there long enough to stabilize a democracy, Hillier himself said that there was no way that Afghanistan will be ready by 2011, but not even the Conservatives want us to stay after that time. Their lives are wasted on false pretenses that Canada is there to help good people and kill bad ones, when we are really acting as a junior partner to American imperialism. I respect the CF, and that is why I don't want to squander their sacrifices on doomed imperialism.

    Perhaps Rick Hillier is not legally a war criminal. But what he has done is should not be awarded.

    Take that 1250 characters.

  47. Posted by: FAIL on Jan 24, 2009 @ 9:18pm

    George: "I tried to submit an opinion piece ... but it was never picked up ...blah blah blah.... completely degrade Scott Gilbert and everything he stands for to the point of slander"

    You cry persecution because someone chose not to print an editorial that you openly admit is slanderous. Not printing slanderous material is practically the first line in any editor's job description.

    Perhaps you regard this as funny. Children might agree with you. Also chimps, and the sort of people who thought "Epic Movie" was funny. An adult with a functioning brain would regard your complaint as stupid.

    You, sir, are not a funny human being. You are a stupid one.

  48. Posted by: James on Jan 25, 2009 @ 2:12am

    Jared,

    That's great ... but it's not a "refutation." It's a stale re-hash of Gilbert's condemnation.

  49. Posted by: Archie on Jan 25, 2009 @ 12:32pm

    FAIL,
    If "not printing slanderous material is the first line in an editor's job description" then why was Scott's January 9th editiorial, "U of G to Honour War Criminal" published?
    What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

  50. Posted by: stop being obtuse on Jan 25, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Archie, can you actually not see a difference between a controversial publication that some might consider slanderous and a publication that that author identifies as being purposefully slanderous?

    This is not a rhetorical question. Can you actually see the difference there? Because if you can, then what is your point?

  51. Posted by: Ltmaverick25 on Jan 27, 2009 @ 4:24am

    Jared,

    Your ignorance seems to know no bounds. You have taken it upon yourself to declare that members of the CF support Hillier because he supports Canada's position on the war on terror?

    Where do you get this information? What evidence do you have to support this claim? You may try asking the troops themselves why they support Hillier. You know, look these people in the eye and try to muster the courage to fuel your ignorance.

    Not to worry, I will save you the embarrassment...

  52. Posted by: Ltmaverick25 on Jan 27, 2009 @ 4:25am

    I am a member of the CF and have been for nearly 15 years (I am also a student at the Tri University of which UofG is a part of). I support Hillier because of the outstanding job he has done in promoting the all too important cause of defence in Canada. I joined the military in the early 90s as a teenager. It was one of my proudest moments. Imagine my surprise when I was spat on and shouted down while in uniform walking to work.

    General Hillier's effective communications program and leadership promoted the Canadian Forces, the role it plays and its value to Canadians. General Hillier helped restore the reputation of the CF and ensured that future young teenagers didn’t have to get spat on by the very people they enlisted to protect and serve.

    THAT is why I support General Hiller and THAT is why I take great exception to the comments made by Gilbert, and now yourself.

  53. Posted by: Archie on Jan 27, 2009 @ 4:23pm

    Dear Stop Being Obtuse,

    The answer is no.

    There is no difference between the two examples given. Scott Gilbert's comment, "we face no direct threat from Afghanistan or any other country," is a direct and arguably a deliberate lie. There is indisputable evidence that we have been threatened by al-Qaeda. Google it. That comment by Gilbert is the one of the most glaringly irresponsible comments I've ever seen. It undercuts anything else he said and I questions his motives for saying it. Purely and simply, it's deliberate dis-information. Thanks to the student body for paying his wages--albeit reluctantly.

  54. Posted by: No really, stop being obtuse on Jan 27, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    Provided below is a list of things that are not slander:
    -a "direct and arguably a deliberate lie" (even if you Google it)
    -dis-information


    Archie, I don't think "slander" means what you think it means.

  55. Posted by: Jeff T on Jan 27, 2009 @ 9:37pm

    Me thinks the government needs to reconsider spending any money at all on this particular institution of "high"er learning.

    The first article was crap. A spew of literary garbage written by an illiterate.

    This article is more crap. Spurious accusations of events removed from context, and without experienced input.

    If you expect to be taken serious in any circle, drop quoting that pedantic blow hard Byers. The man is an idiot of high order, and a sycophant fishing for tenure, where? Who knows. He is in love with himself, and getting into the news as frequently as possible.

    As to the Scott rah rah club... Seriously kids. If this is what counts as "informed opinion" in your circles, you kids are in for a world of trouble when you get out in the real world, and off of mommy and daddy's coin. In the real world, someone can not go running around slandering anyone they feel they should, just because... In the real world, accusations have real world consequences.

  56. Posted by: Jared on Jan 28, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Ltmaverick25;

    I am very sorry for the disrespect shown to soldiers, and that people have shouted and spit at your uniform is a disgrace. Most peace activists know that this kind of behaviour is hateful and counter-productive.

    I've experienced spit and shouts myself, angry SUV drivers yelling "get a job, hippie!"

    This polarized atmosphere makes dialogue difficult. Am I opposing Rick's award because I'm sore with the Conservatives? Are you supporting Rick just because you 've been insulted, and so rally around a leader to defend you? Are either of us paying attention to the issues, or are we just fighting from predetermined positions for our side against the other?

  57. Posted by: on Jan 28, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    The suggestion to "look these people in the eye and try to muster the courage to fuel your ignorance" has been haunting me.

    I have been making assumptions about why military people like Hillier, because I don't know any military people, haven't met any of them or known anyone who has become one of them (to my knowledge).

    So please, enlighten me. If you are CF, e-mail me at [email protected] and tell me why you like Rick Hillier.

  58. Posted by: Jared on Jan 28, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    to get back on topic;

    IF we were fighting an imperialist war on humanitarian pretenses,
    IF that war was doomed to failure,
    IF military leaders championed that war in public propaganda,

    THEN wouldn't you resent those leaders?

    Do you disagree that that scenario applies to Canada, or do you disagree with the logic of that statement?

  59. Posted by: MILNEWS.ca on Jan 28, 2009 @ 4:20pm

    You want to come back to the topic? Let's look at the title of this thread: "Did the U of G honour a war criminal?"

    I've read comments here about the need for due process - I can't recall Hillier being convicted of being a war criminal. In fact, I haven't seen any documentation from a court of law (criminal or civil) saying he's even been charged or under investigation. Barring any documentation confirming a conviction, the answer is "NO".

    Opinion + speculation =/= conviction

    I'll leave assessments of libel to smarter folk than me...

    No, I'm not a member of the CF. No, I'm not posting because I, myself, have been insulted.

  60. Posted by: Sandra, on Jan 28, 2009 @ 10:33pm

    Jared, the military is you ... it's me. The military is a tool of the state as expressed by the collective will of the people when we vote. The military in Canada is one group of people who get very upset when they see voter apathy at the polls. They know that poor political leadership could lead to death and dishonour for them. But CDS has no political power. That's why the editorial upset so many. It's the PMO who decides where to put our troops.
    The CDS acts in an advisory capacity. That's what Hillier meant when he said, "we defend democracy, we don't practice it".
    Top Soldier is a terribly onerous task--imagine the responsibily. The position is often the fall guy when things go wrong, politically too. Yet he must bear the burden in silence.

  61. Posted by: Sandra, on Jan 29, 2009 @ 1:04am

    Continued from above ... A Hillier quote expressing the previous post. Source Sept. 2005 Carleton University lecture:

    "As Chief of Defence Staff I'm prohibited form discussing either politics or policy. I can't talk politics, that's the business of the elected politicians; I can't talk policy, my job is to enact the government policy or retire ... or resign."
    (Ret'd) General Rick Hillier put his country before himself and served Canada for 36 years. This is an honourable man who did a lot of good. The fact is, the quotes ascribed to Hillier in Scott's article are taken entirely out of context. People who've followed Hillier's career will know this. Hillier was said to be a little too outspoken and this upset the mandarins in Ottawa. It was one criticism of the good General.

  62. Posted by: Joe Mama on Jan 29, 2009 @ 2:33am

    The only thing in the world that the Canadian Forces can do to please the likes of the author is to cease to exist

    then all the socialists and/or communists will be happy, no more 'war criminals saving lives and property in a flood', no more 'war criminals fighting forest fires', no more 'war criminals retoring power in an ice storm'

    a perfect world where we are simply immune to natural disasters and other domestic emergencies and our borders are defended by a wall of Lenin statues

  63. Posted by: have some humanity on Jan 29, 2009 @ 10:05am

    I think a lot of people would be less sanguine about HIllier if members of their own family had been taken by Canadian forces and handed over to be tortured.

    Just because it happens to brown people on the other side of the world doesn't mean it's not a war crime.

    We're talking about real people here. Listen to this:

    "Atrocities in Afghan jails were detailed recently by UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour, who reported horrible conditions in these jails, including torture, extended detention without trial and extortion.

    The U.S. State Department's latest human rights assessment also concluded that Afghan torture tactics included "pulling out fingernails and toenails, burning with hot oil, beatings, sexual humiliation and sodomy."
    -CBC

  64. Posted by: Joe Mama on Jan 29, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    "have some humanity"

    do you have any evidence to support

    1. that detainees handed over by Canadian Forces were tortured

    2. that the Canadian Forces had prior knowledge that the detainee were to be (allegedly) tortured

    3. that General Hillier is personally responsible for handing over the detainees (the commanding officer of Task Afghanistan? the commanding officer of the military police unit that handed the detainees over?)

    if not, then please stop with this babbling of assumption based hearsay

  65. Posted by: civilian on Jan 30, 2009 @ 4:19pm

    "have some humanity"

    It happens to white poeple on this side of the world too; two Canadians have been missing in Niger since December 15. And, more recently, a group of European tourists also went missing from the same area. CIMIC Officer Trevor Greene of the CF had his skull cleaved in half after removing his hat out of respect to the elders at a shura in Afghanistan.

    But,if you truly believe that Canada, in her "Responsibilty to Protect" other less fortunate countries chooses
    to deploy CF personnel to countries based on skin colour, then you need to contact the Prime Minister. Stop blaming (Ret'd) General Hillier.

  66. Posted by: fail on Feb 3, 2009 @ 1:15am

    uh, Joe Mama, it was reported by international news organizations, the United Nations, and the US State department.

    And, uh, the Canadian government.

  67. Posted by: Support the Canadian Forces on Feb 3, 2009 @ 5:24pm

    People will twist the news articles/stories they've read to suit their opinions regardless of the facts. I don't recall any ongoing Canadian court cases against Hillier - and I'm sure if people really believed he was guilty of something then the opposition Liberals and NDP would waste no time in calling for Hillier to be charged.

    By insulting Hillier, Gilbert has insulted the people Hillier represents - the Canadian Forces - whose primarily function is peacekeeping and aiding in the event of disasters. Gilbert probably showers scorn upon the development work and training the Canadian Forces are engaged in in Afghanistan, choosing to focus on their security role. People should realize that not everyone is as lucky as those in Canada, and the Canadian Forces are working to improve the lives of those in southern Afghanistan. We should be supporting our troops and not Gilbert who fortunately for him lives in a country which allows him to express his disagreeable views.

  68. Posted by: let's get some things straight on Feb 4, 2009 @ 10:44am

    The primary function of the Canadian Forces has never been peacekeeping and it certainly isn't now. Putting a slogan on the back of a $10 bill doesn't make it so.

    It is a well-established principle of international law that military commanders are responsible for the behaviour of those of whom they are in command. This is because of the disciplined and hierarchical nature of military forces. If abuses took place in Afghanistan, Hillier should be made to answer for them.

    And frankly, if individual soldiers feel offended because their commander's behaviour is being questioned, they need to grow a thicker skin. The armed forces exist to serve a particular role, and that's to take directives from our civilian leadership and execute them in accordance with international conventions and the laws of war. We aren't a fascist society and membership in the CF doesn't give you special privileges or rights.

  69. Posted by: jared on Feb 4, 2009 @ 4:28pm

    I would like to begin by saying that everyone who has posted before me is wrong and stupid. I in fact know the answers, and will proceed to state them authoritatively, passionately, and insultingly. Even though I can't prove my claims, neither can you, because all of your ideas don't have evidence to back them up, and if they do, that evidence is flawed. Everyone else is spouting nonsensical communist fascist propaganda, and I am the only objective voice of reason.

  70. Posted by: on Feb 4, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    Good contribution Jared, now this buried topic has even more junk in it. After reading your first sentence of that post, I've come to the conclusion that you should consider castrating yourself and going to live on a secluded mountain somewhere in seclusion where you won't bother anyone.

  71. Posted by: Cat on Feb 5, 2009 @ 7:54pm

    lets get some things straight,

    Yes, the operative word here is "if."

    Yes, we should question and debate the issue of transfer prisoner. It's an important NATO issue ... it's an important human issue--especially as regards something as serious as what's being alleged. But that's not what Gilbert did. He published a libelous, online opinion piece 3 times and in 3 different ways--and possibly a 4th if you care to note the similarities between the Guelph Peace Alliance literature:

    Jan. 9 "University of Guelph Honours War Criminal Hillier"
    Jan. 10 "University of Guelph Honours Warmonger Hillier"
    Jan. 11 "Did the University of Guelph Honour a War Criminal?"

  72. Posted by: Cat on Feb 5, 2009 @ 8:02pm

    Continued ...

    Unfortunately, the third attempt cannot erase the first. It's out there and that's what people remember. Grade school children are now writing letters to editors about Hillier based on the title of the first piece--without the back ground, context or analysis of the complexities. Gilbert's example points up the reason libel laws exist.

  73. Posted by: Cat on Feb 5, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    Continued ...

    Because of the inflammatory nature of the initial editorial, many have responded by taking a defensive position--students, civilians and CF members alike. That's not fascism.

    Surely, we can ask for a little journalistic integrity ... surely we can demand better from Gilbert than watching him carelessly trash the 36 year career of an individual who led 82,000 personnel. Who is Gilbert to make this hasty pronouncement. Was he embedded with the troops? Unlikely.

    A final point: not one of Gilbert's submissions dealt with the opposing view. Not once did Gilbert try to answer the question of Why the U of G deemed Hillier worthy of the leadership award--that's bad form when making a strong argument. Gilbert launched a nauseating ad hominem attack that moved war vets to tears, enraged journalists across the country and prompted many here to take a defensive position.

    The cannon is paid for by undergraduate students and they deserve better.

  74. Posted by: meow on Feb 6, 2009 @ 2:51am

    which vets were moved to tears?

    which national journalists were engaed?

  75. Posted by: jared on Feb 6, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    well now that i'm on a mountain with no balls and nobody to talk to, i have nothing to do but post my correct opinions on this site.

    gilbert's piece was posted in a section titled "Opinions - Rants, raves, and well-reasoned arguments". it was a ranting rave. so what? this is the perfect place for ill-informed passionate declarations.

  76. Posted by: Vendra on Feb 6, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Hillier is a very brave and sacrificial man. As a CF member, to see mud-slinging on a man that makes me look pitiful by comparison just rubs me the wrong way. This is a man who was ready to die at any time. Scott Gilbert would hide behind pacifism like a coward rather than risk his own skin to protect others. Hillier would have died for us. Scott Gilbert would not. He's selfish. That's the only thing I need to know.

  77. Posted by: not a giant hillier fan on Feb 6, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Hillier's supporters remind me of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park.

    collect underpants -> ??? -> profit!

    I worked for some guy -> ??? -> he is a hero of Sparta! and no one can criticize him

  78. Posted by: nomorecommunisteditors on Feb 7, 2009 @ 11:05am

    meow,

    a) The war vets. I refer to wrote letters to their MPs calling into question funding models for universities; and, making decisions not to leave their savings to U of G. They did not post here.

    b) David Akins along with many others.

    A side note: nice to see how much this thread has degenerated. It's disappointing that some of the posters here infantalize such an important human rights topic. /sarcasm off

  79. Posted by: Jeff T on Feb 7, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    Like I said... The governemt needs to seriously reconsider funding for this hear institution of "high"er un"learning". It would seem that critical thought, and ability to form arguments is no longer the purpose of universities. Or at least for the children at Guelph.

  80. Posted by: hm on Feb 7, 2009 @ 7:10pm

    Yes, Jeff, we heard you the first time. I believe no one responded for a reason.

    In fairness, "nomorecommunisteditors", your response is somewhat disingenous. As far as I can tell, the only journalist who publicly opined on this was David Atkins. And he wrote a letter to the editor. (a thoughtful, albeit strongly-worded letter)

    "Enraging journalists across the country", this is not.

  81. Posted by: jared on Feb 9, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Vendra: What's so virtuous about being willing and ready to kill and die?

    There is nothing cowardly about being a pacifist, it takes more courage to try to live with someone and risk being hurt than to kill those you are afraid of.

    Jeff: the "governemt" isn't funding this website or magazine.

  82. Posted by: Joe Mama on Feb 9, 2009 @ 5:01pm

    fail says:
    Feb 03, 2009 @ 1:15am
    uh, Joe Mama, it was reported by international news organizations, the United Nations, and the US State department.

    And, uh, the Canadian government.
    _____________________________________

    That's nice. You have provided no sources other than a simple statement of "It was reported by so and so..".

    That is no different from "I heard it from my mom's friend's cousin's grandpa's dog"

    Please do some research before you open your mouth.

  83. Posted by: David Goldenberg on Feb 9, 2009 @ 5:14pm

    jared

    You are more than welcome to form an utopia where no human conflict, large or small will ever exist. Where there is no further need for armed resolutions and consequently no need for soldiers to exist

    Until the day you do, you can shove that 'peace on earth' bs up your ass

  84. Posted by: FAIL on Feb 9, 2009 @ 5:55pm

    Hey Joe Mama, if you take the test that "humanity" posted and put into google, guess what you get?

    That's right! a news article describing exactly what he/she said. THE WONDERS OF TECHNOLOGY NEVER CEASE.

    Are you stupid or just computer illiterate?

    The UN, the CBC, Canadian legal scholars and the US State Department (not exactly known as a left wing bastion) are equivalent to a talking dog?

    How people like this get through life I have no idea. Do you argue with traffic lights as you drive through the reds?

    What a maroon.

  85. Posted by: Joe Mama on Feb 9, 2009 @ 10:56pm

    FAIL says:
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 5:55pm
    ______________________________________

    "maroon"??

    Hahaha

    Please, before you accuse anyone of being stupid or computer illiterate or else, ensure that you can spell first.

    Otherwise, people reading this might think that you are, well, a moron.

    Here's a hint for meaningful debate; if you bring up an argument such as "CBC, Canadian legal scholars, US Statement Department etc says so and so", you need to provide sources, as in links to the actual article which validates your claims; otherwise your arguments are baseless.

    Telling someone to "type in Google" is not the way to support your argument. It is in fact, incredibly child-like. Maybe in special school where retards such as yourself who don't know the difference between "maroon" and "moron" this works well, but here it does not.

    So please, before you spray any more waste through that mouth of yours, learn to spell, and more importantly learn how to make a valid argument.

    Thanks for coming out though.

  86. Posted by: Succeed on Feb 10, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Fail,

    By calling someone a "maroon" you're violating the University of Guelph Human Rights and Equity Policy.

    "Maroon" is a pejorative to people of colour since it was a derogatory word for them and epistemologically originated from the colour of chestnuts and then linked with run- away slaves of colour in the Americas who had other than white skin.

    If you don't apologize, I will make a formal complaint against The Cannon to the office of the honourable Patrick Case.

    Don't bother deleting this either as I save everything The Cannon writes.

  87. Posted by: the more you know! on Feb 11, 2009 @ 4:30pm

    The use of the phrase "What a maroon" is an obvious reference to the famous line spoken by Bugs Bunny in cartoons such as Baseball Bugs.

    The joke is that while mocking someone else, Bugs mispronounces the word "moron". While it is true that the term 'maroon' has another and separate meaning, this is not the sting of the Bugs Bunny remark.

    And you save everything the Cannon writes? That's just... just weird.

  88. Posted by: ezra on Feb 11, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    FAIL says: "Are you stupid or just computer illiterate?"

    Joe Mama says: "Both! and I'm mad as hell about it!!!1"
    lol

  89. Posted by: Joe Mama on Feb 12, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    ezra says:
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 6:21pm
    FAIL says: "Are you stupid or just computer illiterate?"

    Joe Mama says: "Both! and I'm mad as hell about it!!!1"
    lol
    ______________________________________

    I did say that, but only when your mom asked me if I was staying or leaving

    hahaha

    I too, enjoyed making shit up, but I stopped that when I was six. But whatever makes you feel better about yourself I suppose. hahahaha

  90. Posted by: Support Our Troops on Feb 12, 2009 @ 4:44pm

    Here's something useful to do if anyone here cares about the peoples of Afghanistan:

    http://transmontanus.blogspot.com/2009/02/pashtun-canadians-to-rally-against.html

  91. Posted by: IPAddy on Feb 14, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    This person named "Fail" has consistently used "oppressive" language in this thread and should have his/her IP Address bannned.

  92. Posted by: Sandra on Feb 14, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    Jared,

    To unravel the Hillier dishonesty of Gilbert go here:

    http://www.damianpenny.com/archived/009388.html

  93. Posted by: Jared on Feb 21, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Reading that link, I see that it claims that Hillier wasn't acting on his own, but following the Liberal lead on transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities.
    Hillier still should not have been awarded, the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities to be abused should be enough scandal to ruin his reputation, the stink of Bagram should despoil his character. The allegations of abuse and torture in Afghanistan are, in my opinion, credible and unrefuted, and this should stop Hillier from being awarded.

  94. Posted by: Jared on Feb 21, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Goldenberg: while "peace on earth" is obviously unrealistic and unattainable, isn't it better to strive towards a more peaceful earth, one with less killing and less torture? Even if you desire peace guaranteed by armed forces, wouldn't it be better to not invade foreign countries, and to not abuse prisoners? You should form a utopia where all conflict can be resolved by armed soldiers, maroon.

  95. Posted by: J.D. on Feb 24, 2009 @ 2:44am

    This is disgusting. You wan't to know what's really criminal? The fact that a soldier can risk his/her life for his/her country, regardless of his/her opinion on the mission, only to be stabbed in the back by a propaganda spouting hippy. Hillier is no war criminal. He is a soldier - a Canadian solider. You should show some gratitude.

  96. Posted by: Proud Canadian on Mar 4, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Myth Breaking interview on Afghanistan mission and Canada's role:

    http://worldfocus.org/blog/2009/03/03/tune-in-online-radio-show-on-canadas-role-in-afghanistan/4278/

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